Car Wash - Winter 2015 - (Page 11)
M E ET TH E BOA R D
BILL GORRA IS President and CEO of Simoniz USA, Inc. He has dual degrees
from Tufts University in chemical engineering and history. He's been in the car wash
industry more than 35 years. Gorra took time to share his story and what he loves about
the car wash industry.
Q: Tell us how you got involved in the car
A: In the late 1960s, my father started
Syndet Products, a company that made
detergents for the commercial car wash
industry. He started, of course, in our
garage, and when I graduated from college
the company had grown to 14 employees.
I decided to give it a shot and utilize my
chemical engineering degree, and 35 years
later I am still here.
I've also been involved on the retail
side of the business. I bought my first
car wash in 1983 and over the next 10
years built or bought five more. It was
the perfect opportunity to see the business from multiple perspectives, including full-service, detailing, oil change, and
convenience and gas retailing.
When the opportunity arose in 1998
to purchase the Simoniz brand and company, we decided to focus on the detergent
business and sold the car washes - all of
which are still successful today.
Q: What do you enjoy most
about this industry?
A: We have stayed so dedicated to the
car wash industry because of the opportunity it presents, and the commitment
we have from like-minded professionals
who have decided to make their careers
here at Simoniz USA. It's also great that
this industry is big enough that you can
introduce new products and services that
move the needle, but at the same time you
can take an idea from the drawing board
to the marketplace in a reasonable amount
of time. We also really enjoy and respect
the car wash operator. This is still a hardworking, weather-dependent, retail environment where productivity, marketing
and management have to come together.
Q: Why do you serve on the ICA
board of directors?
A: I am serving in order to give back to this
industry, and I hope that my years of experience give me something valuable to offer.
It's an exciting time for the DIFM (do it for
me) car appearance marketplace, with the
DIY segment decreasing every year. The
positive environmental impact our industry
can claim and the growing frequency of use
of professional car washes is only going to
fuel additional growth.
The ICA board of directors is a group
of caring car care professionals from every
end of the business: operators, equipment
vendors, chemical suppliers, etc. Everyone I
have met is selfless in the way they analyze
our decisions, and they want what is best
for our industry and our members. They
have great vision and believe in the future
of our industry, and I'm thankful they give
their time - which we all know is our most
President and CEO
Simoniz USA, Inc.
Chemical engineering and history
35 years in the car wash industry
Q: What advice would you have for those
who are new to the car wash business?
A: Stay in constant contact with your customers, and keep your message fresh and
relevant! All of us are being bombarded
by information and offers, and we have to
know how to compete with the dry cleaner,
pizza house and donut shop for our customers' discretionary income. Clean, dry and
shiny may not always be enough...make
their experience exceptional!
INTERNATIONAL CARWASH ASSOCIATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Gary Dennis, President
Fred O'Neill, Treasurer
Mark Curtis, Immediate Past President
Warren Davis, Vendor Vice President
Brian Gleason, Vendor Vice President
Mark De Graaf
WINTER 2015 | CAR WASH MAGAZINE | WWW.CARWASH.ORG
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Car Wash - Winter 2015
Letter from the ICA
Meet the Board
By the Numbers
Seven trends affecting the future workforce
Talent development and company culture
The Affordable Care Act in action: Preparing for reporting in 2016
Still stuck in traffic
Car washes in the fast lane
Car Wash Show Europe launch a huge success
Enning, Loogman inducted to Car Wash Hall of Fame
Take a Tour
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…
A gentler approach to damage claims
Women in Car Wash: Linda Parker
Blast from the Past
Women in Car Wash: Mandi Brower
5 ways to build trust in a business
Index of Advertisers
Car Wash - Winter 2015